Sunday, June 26, 2011

Furious Hadi orders 1 million PAS members to attend Bersih


Corrupt Barisan Nasional : UMNO has had it easy for too long. So has the BN coalition it heads. Prime Minister Najib Razak has not been shy to bully his way through using the might of the government machinery and the institutions of authority to maintain his momentum.
But with the next general election on the way, the Pakatan Rakyat led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is starting to show its long-held-back muscle. Leaders all three component parties PAS, PKR and DAP have declared their unreserved support for the Bersih 2.0 rally organised by 62 of the country's most established NGOs.
The rally is mean to be a citizens' march for democracy, culiminating with the delivery of a memorandum to the King, demanding free and fair elections. But Najib and his UMNO party believe that the march is a slap in the face to his leadership.

They have been accused of resorting to unsavory means that include, threatening ethnic cleansing against the Malaysian Chinese, "preventive arrests" and most lately, death threats were issued against Bersih organising chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan, the former head of the Bar Council and a receipent of the prestigious International Women of Courage Award.
That was the last straw.
1,000,000 members from PAS
In a rare show of silent fury, PAS president Hadi Awang ordered all one million of its members to join the Bersih 2.0 slated for July 9. So too will Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim order PKR members and it is expected that DAP will also encourage its supporters to join unrreservedly and without fear.
“I call on all PAS members supporters to join the Bersih rally on July 9 to demand for clean and fair elections,” said PAS president Hadi Awang.
This is not the first time he has declared support for the rally. Earlier this month, the PAS central committee endorsed a motion by its newly-minted deputy president Mohamad Sabu to send 300,000 members.
Hadi reiterated the 8 reforms demanded by Bersih were noble and just, in line with social justice espoused in Islam.
Another famous cleric, Dr Asri Zainul Abidin, also said the same a day ago. Asri had also warned the authorities not to use underhanded means to disrupt the rally.
Stand up and speak up for yourselves
At a press conference earlier today, Anwar called on Malaysians to stand up to UMNO and the BN, urging them to reject the racial and gutter politicking practised by their leaders to cling to power.
"We are clearly disgusted. But what is worse, it is not only about the purveyors but the fact that this system seeks to condone, allow and publicise this.  So, all the more reason why members of the public must take a position. Enough of this racist rhetoric and nonsense. We have to speak up,” said Anwar.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who was also present, was just as fiery in his words. The veteran leader accused Najib of plunging Malaysia into its lowest ebb, where democracy and civil rights had the least space, racial polarization the most worst in 5 decades, while the economy faced bankruptcy by 2019 - as forecast by the government's own analysts.
"We see in the country this vile extremism rearing its ugly head. These were unheard of in the past, the open threat of assassination is now developing as the latest form of extremism,” said Kit Siang.
“If they had taken proper steps to ensure that moderates can have their rightful place in the country and clamp down on such extremism, Malaysia would not be in the sorry state that it is in today. Instead of the home minister, police, together with other political leaders making baseless threats."
Appends below the 8 reforms drawn up and demanded on behalf of Malaysians by the the Bersih steering committee:
1. Clean the electoral roll
The electoral roll is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. The electoral roll must be revised and updated to wipe out these ‘phantom voters’. The rakyat have a right to an electoral roll that is an accurate reflection of the voting population.
In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.
2. Reform postal ballot
The current postal ballot system must be reformed to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia are able to exercise their right to vote. Postal ballot should not only be open for all Malaysian citizens living abroad, but also for those within the country who cannot be physically present in their voting constituency on polling day. Police, military and civil servants too must vote normally like other voters if not on duty on polling day.
The postal ballot system must be transparent. Party agents should be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting.
3. Use of indelible ink
Indelible ink must be used in all elections. It is a simple, affordable and effective solution in preventing voter fraud. In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink. However, in the final days leading up to the 12th General Elections, the EC decided to withdraw the use of indelible ink citing legal reasons and rumours of sabotage.
BERSIH 2.0 demands for indelible ink to be used for all the upcoming elections. Failure to do so will lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is an intention to allow voter fraud.
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
The EC should stipulate a campaign period of not less than 21 days. A longer campaign period would allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.
5. Free and fair access to media
It is no secret that the Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide. BERSIH 2.0 calls on the EC to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all potlical parties.
6. Strengthen public institutions
Public institutions must act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to act independently, uphold laws and protect human rights.
In particular, the EC must perform its constitutional duty to act independently and impartially so as to enjoy public confidence. The EC cannot continue to claim that they have no power to act, as the law provides for sufficient powers to institute a credible electoral system.
7. Stop corruption
Corruption is a disease that has infected every aspect of Malaysian life. BERSIH 2.0 and the rakyat demand for an end to all forms of corruption. Current efforts to eradicate corruption are mere tokens to appease public grouses. We demand that serious action is taken against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.
8. Stop dirty politics
Malaysians are tired of dirty politics that has been the main feature of the Malaysian political arena. We demand for all political parties and politicians to put an end to gutter politics. As citizens and voters, we are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.
- ENDS

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